Hyderabad's Fawad Tamkanat brings together works of various artists for his upcoming show on tiger conservation

Fawad has encouraged the artists to paint on 3D tiger masks. 

A Harini Prasad Published :  22nd February 2019 06:00 AM   |   Published :   |  22nd February 2019 06:00 AM

The 2014 All-India Tiger Census had estimated India’s tiger population at 2,226 — a rise in the numbers when compared to 1,706 in 2010. While the 2018 census is yet to be released, renowned artist Fawad Tamkanat has brought together artists from across the country to support the cause and ‘celebrate’ the steady rise. “It’s great to see that India is home to a large population (of tigers). That apart, through this exhibition, we also want to create awareness on the need to conserve tigers and other animals too,” says the city-based artist.

While he has curated more than 25 shows abroad, it is the first time that Fawad has worked with 79 other artists to put together a show on tiger conservation. “I started working on the idea two years ago solely for my love for animals. I have donated some of my previous awards to Blue Cross of Hyderabad. That apart, I wanted to focus on young artists and give them an opportunity to showcase their work. The selected artists come from different backgrounds. While most of them are still budding, the others are prominent names,” he added. After a year of research through documentaries and books and a brief experiment, Fawad decided to showcase artworks on tiger masks, which he personally worked on, with a sculptor in Kolkata. Each artist from the line-up has used a Tiger mask each to create their painting. While some have created mythological stories and scriptures on the 3D masks, a few artists have superimposed varied metaphors based on social issues, while staying true to their individual style of work. For instance, Fawad’s daughter, Afza Tamkanat, has used false eyelashes, gold foil and acrylic on fibreglass with femininity as her theme. While city-based Priyanka Aelay has included floral work with subtle colours on the mask. “To ensure they’re not influenced by each others’ works, I made sure that none of the artists get a glimpse of others’ art. The end product is far more real, in terms of their ideas and creative with a narrative of their own,” he informs.  

Fawad’s work, often influenced by the Telangana’s senior artist Thota Vaikuntam, has watercolour, etching and tarpaulin. This time around, however, he has used a completely different medium of Urdu calligraphy. “I learnt Urdu calligraphy back in my college days with Baans Ki Kalam (a pen made of bamboo). In my research, I also read about the history of calligraphy. I thought this was a great medium to use for a show like this,” he shares.

Till March 1, 11 am onwards. 
At Chitramayee State Art Gallery.